CRI Symposium on Pope Francis’ LaudatoSi

6 Sept 2015: Over 130 Religious gathered at the Tarumitra Bio-reserve under the aegis of CRI Patna. While the CRI president Sr. Deepasha AC welcomed the assembly, a group of Sisters organized a memorable prayer service on the creation.

A priest of the Patna Archdiocese and a lecturer in law in the university, Fr. Peter Ladis presented an input on the legal aspects of the current scenario of environmental activism in the country. He explained his observations through a lucid Power Point presentation. There were many questions to clarify the many issues.

This was followed by a modest presentation on the complex document Laudato Si of Pope Francis. Co-ordinator of Tarumitra Students’ Forum for Environment, Fr. Robert Athickal reinstated the perspective of Pope Francis that the Ecological crisis is primarily a Justice issue. At the same time Fr. Robert suggested the possibility of an Eco-spirituality suggested by the Pope who delved deep into the Christian tradition of the fabled saint, St. Francis of Assisi.

The Pope saw in the story of St. Francis an immense mine of possibilities for our own times. Francis found God everywhere in creation, celebrated it with dance and music vis a vis his contemporaries who looked at the planet as valley of tears where the banished children Eve primarily wept and wailed praying to be taken out of this world.

Fr. Robert felt that there were a large array of saints who followed Francis such as St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Louis de Montfort, Meiter Eckhart, Ignatius of Loyola, St. Therese of Lissiux, Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, Thomas Merton etc.

He opined that strong positive creation spirituality would give us the internal energy to fight the mindless corporations who destroy our planet and conserve it for many more generations to come.

The CRI also released a volume of personal reflections on religious vocation as part of commemorating the year of Religious Life.

Keeping up with the spirit of the discussions, the assembly concluded the gathering with a well arranged Eucharistic celebration under the canopy of the Kamroop tree (Ficusretusa) in the Tarumitra forest. Ms Margaret Molomoo arranged for a specially cooked Eco-meal for lunch under the same tree.